The history of EYES began in 2003 in London, when four ambitious university students put together an unusual business plan for an organisation with a great mission. Felix came up with the idea to create a platform where the entrepreneurial young people can meet, exchange, and learn from one another. He decided to put together a rough business plan, which he shared with three of his friends – Vivian, Ruben and Yoel. Together they refined this plan and made the first big step towards setting up the society.
They decided to call it the Emerging Young Entrepreneurs Society, or EYES, and established the legal entity of the organisation in Lucerne, Switzerland. The group set a goal to organise the first EYES event in September 2004.
In March 2004 they started reaching out to their network, family and friends in order to put together the event. Then the idea came to get in touch with YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) to discuss potential cooperation between the two organisations. YPO subsequently offered their help setting up EYES. The first event then took place in Lucerne, and the speakers for this event were assigned through the founders’ family network, and partly through YPO.
In 2005, the second EYES event took place in Mallorca, Spain. In early 2006 the founders were able to present the organisation at the annual conference of the YPO Rhine Chapter. Again, they were able to generate a lot of future support for organising events and sourcing speakers.
Later on, events in New York, Amsterdam and Oslo followed. In 2007, EYES Americas was launched with a launch event in Panama City. As the organisation grew, Felix, Vivian and Ruben quickly realised that in order to sustainably make EYES grow, they needed to pass on the leadership.
Eric Brimen was elected as the first Chairman of EYES. The following mandate was handed over to Christopher Kober, and lastly to Lennard van Vloten - the current Chairman of the EYES Board.
For more than 10 years now, EYES has kept its core purpose to bring together international young people with entrepreneurial traits in an environment of trust, where they can meet, learn and exchange from one another. The original idea of Felix, Ruben and Vivian is more alive than ever!